Widnes manager Michael Ellison labelled their defeat away to City of Liverpool as a ‘bad day for himself and the club’.
Three second-half goals, including a Nathan Burke penalty, added gloss on a comfortable result in an overall drab game.
Widnes were lacklustre in their approach from the first minute and failed to put the hosts under any strain throughout the course of the competition.
“Where do I start? I’m the manager I take responsibility, of course, but we were second best from the first whistle,” he said speaking to Off The Park.
“I said to the lads before we were outplayed – that can happen against good sides, these are a good side, got a good squad. To get outfought and outworked, that’s tough to take, away from home in a derby, that wasn’t a performance I was expecting.
“The last two performances were decent, we got a win then we should’ve got something, if not a win against Witton, there was moments in the game where we switched off. There were no moments, it was 90 minutes and I don’t think we got a foothold in the game, credit to them.”
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Ste Milne was felled twice in the penalty area and Purps captain, Burke, made no mistake from 12 yards in both halves as James Steele and Michael Simpson got themselves on the score sheet.
For Ellison, it was an unhappy return to his former club after he lost his job as manager and subsequently replaced by Paul McNally in August.
He added: “[We were] Out everything, outfought, outworked, outran and they had more quality it’s as simple as that. I said to the lads in there, teams can have more quality than you – that can happen, you play a lot of teams in this league with quality all over the place – but you’ve got to defend better than that.
“The four goals are all really poor and they’ve not had to work hard for it have they? Let’s be honest, for anyone who’s seen it the two penalties are appalling, I’m not sure of the first one but the second one is stonewall, just on our heels.
“We give the ball away in midfield under no pressure and when they broke, we broke in numbers and we didn’t track them, couldn’t track them. A real, real bad day for me, bad day for the football club and my management team, does it hurt the players? I’m not so sure.
“It can’t get any worse for one, behind the scenes we’re working our absolute nuts off to try and recruit, bring lads in and we’ll have to continue doing that. If any of the lads want to stay here and fight, they’re going to have to do a lot better than that otherwise personnel will have to change.”